Bringing to life New York in 1980

Tom Barbash’s latest novel focuses on residents of the apartment building that was home to John Lennon the year he died

By DAN CRYER/TNS
January 10, 2019 09:03
3 minute read.
Bringing to life New York in 1980

THE DAKOTA on W. 72nd Street – the real home to John Lennon and the fictional home to Buddy Winter.. (photo credit: DAVID SHANKBONE/ WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

 
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Looking like a Habsburg palace, the Dakota, that sprawling, ornate apartment building just off Central Park West, was once home to Lauren Bacall, Leonard Bernstein, John Lennon and countless other boldface names. The setting for Rosemary’s Baby, it has always been both luxurious and mysterious – a kind of fantasy castle for outsiders looking in. Do the rich folks within really inhabit lives worthy of envy?

Tom Barbash’s new novel, The Dakota Winters, neither glamorizes nor sneers at what goes on inside. Fame and its discontents are his major themes, as is the tangled father-son bond.

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